Cranberry Gin Gin Cocktail


For those lovely people who’ve been waiting, here is the recipe!

Cranberry Gin Gin Fizz
•2 oz. gin (my fave is Old Grove from Ballast Point Brewing)
•1 oz freshly pressed lemon juice
•1 oz cranberry ginger syrup (recipe below)
•Ginger beer (Fever Tree, Maine Root, or Bruce Coast. NEVER EVER use Reed’s because it will mess up the flavor!)
•Rosemary or juniper for garnish

Stir together first 3 ingredients in your cocktail glass. Add ice. Float with some ginger beer and add garnish.
For syrup: Combine 1 cup water with 1 cup organic sugar, 1 ginger root (few inches long and wide), and 1 cup cranberries. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the ingredients are boiling. Continue cooking on low for 20 min. Cool, strain, and you’re ready to go!

List-Making Tips and Homemade Gin!

agoldenafternoon.comI don’t know about you guys, but I keep a list of food and drinks I’m inspired to make.  I’ve used Evernote to hold my notes (thanks for sharing, Erin! ;)) for a few years now and LOVE it.  It has a login so the information can never be lost if something happens to your phone.  You can download it here.  I no longer use my iPhone “notes” after having several years worth of lists lost twice (mysteriously not backed up).  Now, I keep notes for EVERYTHING in Evernote, especially inspiration from magazines and books, including:

Places to eat in San Diego

Places to visit in Italy/Sicily/Switzerland

Things to read/look up later

Inspirational quotes to remember

Books to read/Books for Faith to read

Natural health recipes

Everyone’s birthdays

Hiking spots

Cocktail notes

Things to buy/Gifts to buy

About this time of year, I pull out my Evernote list of gift ideas I gathered from magazines over the last several months and start making decisions for Christmas gifts.  I am so excited for Christmas, aren’t you?!  It’s so close!  This year somebody is getting some homemade gin after Uncommon Goods sent me this “Homemade Gin Kit” to try!  Yay!  I already gave one bottle away last week.  I also got to cross “making gin” off my list of things to try.   This gift works two ways:  you can give the kit itself or you can make the gin yourself and give it away.  Hostess gift, anyone?

I said yes to partnering with Uncommon for this post because I am a customer of theirs already.  Most of Uncommon’s products are made here in the USA, HALF of those products are made by hand, and 1/3 of them are recycled or upcycled.  Now, that’s a company I like to support. They have such unique and fun gifts that you KNOW you can’t find on Amazon.  I would suggest starting in the under $50 gift section here, because they are always spot on.  Also, I’ve found a few last minute gifts in the men’s section before here. ;)

Have you guys started Christmas shopping yet?  Go check out Uncommon first and keep notes in your Evernote!

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Cinnamon Whiskey Sour


The whiskey sour is my favorite drink right now.  I love the way the egg whites bring a touch of stability to the always battling sweet and sour elements of a cocktail.  Whiskey sours are also very fun to play around with as you can try so many different flavors in the simple syrup.  For this drink I went with cinnamon.  I had this combo at Craft & Commerce (our best restaurant/bar for cocktails in San Diego) and I fell in love immediately.  It brings a little bit of holiday spirit but can totally be served any time of the year.  Plus, cinnamon is a wonderful health aid…so…bonus points!!!

For those who are wondering about the raw egg white, don’t worry.  If you get your eggs from a local farm who is taking care of their chickens the way they should, raw egg whites are totally fine.  If you are super nervous about this idea and still want to try the drink, then you can buy pasteurized egg whites at whole foods if you have no other options and NEED to have whiskey sours in your life.  I would still recommend that you look into fresh eggs anyway, for the sake of your overall health.  Did you know that America is one of the few countries who refrigerate their eggs?  That’s kind of a scary thought when you beg the question why.  Something to ponder…

Local Hint: San Diego, you can find amazing pasture-raised chicken eggs from farms like Spur Valley Ranch.  Doesn’t get much better than them unless you are raising chickens yourself! ;)  Check here for market availability.

Cinnamon Whiskey Sour:

2 ounces rye whiskey (preferably Bulleit or your favorite small batch)

3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

3/4 ounce cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)

1 egg white

a few dashes of bitters

For the syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon bark in a small pan. Cook over medium heat until boiling and the sugar is dissolved.  The cinnamon bark from Ceylon cinnamon, as opposed to Cassia, is what you’re looking for.  Ceylon is known as the “true” cinnamon that was bartered and traded so long ago in the days of Marco Polo and beyond.  Obviously, you can make a syrup with a cinnamon stick but I threw that little bit in there in case you are the type of person who wants to know such things and make the best cinnamon syrup possible. ;)

For the drink: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients besides the bitters.  Shake for at least a minute so that the egg white can get a nice foam in the shaker.  Pour into a glass without ice and throw a few dashes of bitters on top.  If you find the drink to be too sweet, try substituting all or half of the lemon juice for lime juice.  Enjoy!



Best way to separate the white from the yolk is with your hands!




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Classic Cocktails: The Presbyterian



(glassware from West Elm)

 This is my favorite drink right now.

I first had it at Craft and Commerce, a local Bar and Eatery that makes the best cocktails in San Diego….no contest.  I simply asked for a bourbon-based cocktail using ginger and this drink is what I got.  Yes, they are that good at C&C that you can have them make drinks to your taste.  After a little Google search, I discovered it was an old-time cocktail that’s been around for a loooong time.  Pretty cool.  I quickly made it, adding my own touch.

I love ginger so very much.  I have served this to many people who don’t prefer bourbon and they still seem to love it.  The ginger beer really mellows the bourbon but doesn’t crush it, which I love.  For my friends who do not like sweet drinks (*waving* Hi, Joanna!), trying adding a bit of lemon juice or use half ginger beer and half club soda.

I think this is a perfectly wonderful drink to bring in the new year with or to have any day, for that matter!

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The Presbyterian

(Bon’s way)

2 ounces of Bourbon

4-6 ounces of ginger beer

4 dashes of bitters, like Angostura

candied ginger, for garnish

Fill a highball glass with ice, then add the bourbon.  Fill the glass almost to the top with the ginger beer and add a few dashes of bitters to the top.  Stir and serve!

Do you have any big party plans?

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Holiday Cocktail: Maple Bourbon Twist

You have no idea how excited I am about this drink.  My friends and family know me by now as a crazy cocktail dabbler.  I can’t help it.  I just love mixing flavors and following trends of my own changing taste in food and drink.  When I pick a flavor, I pretty much stick to it for a while and it will appear EVERYWHERE!


I made a cocktail, cookies, and soap.


replacing every sugar product I can with it.


I made many different cocktails (some with grapefruit), cookies, and also just ate it candied.

Five spice:

It went in chicken, soup, and cookies.

The next one is definitely bourbon.  I have had this trend in the past, but I am definitely using bourbon whenever I can at this point.

I love it so.

This cocktail is very special to me because I really love it.  If you asked my husband if I am happy with the food and drink I create, he would say no way!  I can’t help but want to improve upon things and make them better.  This drink, however, I just really love as it is.  The maple syrup really holds down the bourbon, making it nice and smooth.  I love the sweet finish of apple brandy and our homegrown apple slice on top.

Introducing my Holiday 2012 cocktail:

Maple Bourbon Twist

(thanks to Brianne and Kristin for helping me name it)

1 oz. Bourbon (I prefer Knob Creek or a small batch bourbon)

3/4 oz. maple syrup

3/4 oz. lemon juice, fresh squeezed

2 small splashes of apple brandy

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake for 1 minute.  Serve in a martini glass with an apple slice.  This can easily be made into large batches. Add a little club soda if it’s too strong for you!

C H E E R S !

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